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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Urbana, Illinois » Soybean/maize Germplasm, Pathology, and Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #434262

Research Project: Characterization, Management, and Research for Effective Utilization of Soybean Genetic Resources

Location: Soybean/maize Germplasm, Pathology, and Genetics Research

Project Number: 5012-21000-029-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 1, 2018
End Date: Feb 28, 2023

Objective 1: Efficiently and effectively acquire soybean genetic resources, maintain their safety, genetic integrity, health and viability, and distribute them and associated information worldwide. Objective 2: Develop more effective germplasm maintenance, evaluation, and characterization methods, and apply them to priority soybean genetic resources. Record and disseminate evaluation and characterization data via GRIN-Global and other data sources. Sub-objective 2a. Evaluate annual accessions for basic agronomic, descriptive and seed composition traits. Sub-objective 2b. Conserve, regenerate, and distribute genetic resources and associated information. Objective 3: Develop improved germplasm with increased yield by utilizing exotic soybean (Glycine max), wild soybean (Glycine soja) and wild perennial Glycine species; identify important introgressed genomic regions; and determine the impact of the introgressions. Sub-objective 3a. Develop improved germplasm with increased yield using exotic and wild soybean, and identify integrated exotic DNA. Sub-objective 3b. Identify important introgressed genomic regions associated with yield. Sub-objective 3c. Understand the causes of genetic instability as seen in some mutants, as well as in some G. tomentella-derived lines that reverted from 2n=42 to 2n=40 chromosomes, that produce diversity in qualitative and quantitative traits. Objective 4: Use appropriate genomic methods, including mapping and gene expression data, to identify genetic regions conferring quantitative defense to soybean pathogens and pests, discover useful genes, and work with breeders to deploy them in suitable germplasm. Sub-objective 4a. Use GWAS, whole genome sequence assembly, and RNA-Seq to identify candidate defense-associated loci and genes to enhance resistance to S. sclerotiorum, rust, and the red-banded stink bug. Sub-objective 4b. Verify candidate gene functions and usefulness of molecular markers related to defense-associated loci.

We will continue to expand the holdings of the USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection and optimize maintenance procedures. We will collect data on descriptive and agronomic traits, including photographs, and submit to GRIN-Global to facilitate the use of the Collection. High quality seeds will be maintained and distributed. We will use available breeding, genetic, and genomic tools to exploit the diversity of the Collection to increase seed yield and improved disease or pest resistance. Exotic accessions not in the commercially used gene pool will be used to develop high yielding experimental lines and populations to expand the genetic base of soybean production in the U.S. and identify new alleles from exotic germplasm that increase seed yield. Select lines derived from wide-crosses will be sequence analyzed to determine if genomic sections of the wild relative have been introgressed into the G. max genome. Genome-wide association mapping and analysis of gene expression data will assist in identification of candidate defense-associated genes, and the genes will be isolated for functional study.